Dear Capt. Paul:

I have a Garmin 192C that came loaded with current Blue Chart mapping, which I find very good for coastal areas. However, I do a lot of freshwater fishing as well, and Blue Chart does not cover inland waterways and lakes.

I plan on loading some software on a data card for freshwater lakes and canals. What do you think of Garmin's TOPO or Fishing Hotspots software?

Capt. Paul's response:

I would go with the TOPO version and not the Fishing Hotspots. The MapSource U.S Topo covers the entire United States, whereas the Hotspots software will require you to have three of four different programs to cover the entire US.

In the Hotspots program, one section covers east of the Mississippi River and another covers the area west of the river. If you fished the Pearl River, you would need the East Version, but if you fished Bayou Black, you would need the west version.

Be careful when loading new maps on a memory card that already has map data loaded on the card. Whenever you add maps to the card, it erases the maps that are on the card and replaces them with the new maps. Do not take a chance of erasing your Blue Chart maps. Buy another data card, and load the TOPO maps on the new card.

Dear Capt. Paul:

Could you tell me the coordinates of the Pickets on the west side of Raccoon Point out of Terrebonne Parish.

Capt. Paul's response:

Starting from Raccoon Point and heading west, the bodies of rigs, generally on the same line, are called the Pickets, Mardi Gras and the Blue Point rigs. Raccoon Point is at the westernmost end of Raccoon Island. Raccoon Island is the westernmost of the islands called the Isles Dernieres. The point is at or about N29 03.663 x W90 57.498.

Use caution when using this position, as the tip of the island is constantly changing and the "point" may move in any direction.

On fairly clear days, you can see the Pickets from Coon Point. When you get to the Pickets, you can see the Mardi Gras, and from the Mardi Gras rigs you can see the Blue Point rigs.

The small structure two miles or so off of Coon Point is the Enstar rig.

Most all of the "Pickets" rigs are in Ship Shoal block 26. One of the larger platforms is located at or about N29º 06.557 x W91º 03.484. From the above location, you can see several of the other platforms in the area that is commonly called the Pickets.

About 7.25 miles to the west of the large Pickets platform is the Mardi Gras platform. It is located at or about N29 07. 502 x W091 10. 688.

About 7.6 miles to the southwest is a group of platforms called the Blue Point rigs. The larger platform is at or about N29 05.598 x W91 16.989.

My positions are for the center of the platforms. Unless otherwise stated, all positions are stated as DDD,MM.MMM and were determined using WGS 84 datum.